Listed law firm Argyle Lawyers has purchased small Sydney firm PLN Lawyers Pty Ltd.
The purchase of PLN by Argyle signals that the Sydney and Melbourne-based firm is set to pursue a growth strategy that will involve further acquisitions and lateral hires.
"The mandate for growth still exists," the managing principal of Argyle, Peter Bobbin, told Lawyers Weekly. "It is fair to say there will be more acquisitions in the future, and it is not just the acquisition of firms [that we are pursuing], because if the right lateral hire at a senior associate or partner level comes along, it can be rewarded with public company shares."
PLN is a small firm of eight staff and an annual fee income of around $2 million.
Its main attraction to Argyle was its status as the home of the Pacific Legal Network, an affiliation of independently owned law firms throughout the Pacific region.
Argyle's purchase of the firm was funded by Integrated Legal Holdings Limited (ILH).
Consideration for the transaction involved the issue of 3.04 million ILH shares at 11.5 cents per share and a deferred cash component payable in September 2012.
Argyle is a member of ILH, which also includes Law Central, Civic Legal and Talbot Olivier Lawyers.
Bobbin said that each firm within ILH operates independently, and the decision to purchase PLN was an "Argyle decision". PLN will continue to operate under its existing name.